Dr. Paul Mittman, President and CEO of SCNM, weighs in on the opioid crisis.
I forced myself to watch the heartbreaking HBO documentary on the opioid crisis, Warning: This Drug May Kill You. In fact, I got up off the couch four times to walk away only to sit back down, riveted, and in tears. The opioid and heroin addicts all shared a common story, whether teenagers, young or middle-aged adults, middle income or affluent – doctors prescribed them powerful prescription opiates repeatedly and they became addicted.
This is a front-page news story today, but it isn’t a new story, nor is it the whole story. The origins began over 20 years ago with the approval of powerful new drugs to treat acute pain and chronic pain – long acting opioids like OxyContin. Over this time prescriptions for opioids skyrocketed, and so has the number of people addicted to them.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services:
There are ways to fight this epidemic and reasons to be hopeful for the future. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences (SCNM) recognized the crisis unfolding five years ago, and in response, created an integrative pain management clinic. At the SCNM Pain Relief Center patients receive, and naturopathic medical students learn, the best of conventional pain management from an Anesthesiologist Pain Specialist, and the best of alternative pain treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic treeatment, mindfulness, regenerative injection therapies such as stem cell and platelet rich plasma (PRP), as well as physical therapy. Adopting a patient-centered approach developed at a national collaborative hosted by the Samueli Institute, the team engages each patient in developing a safe, effective and holistic treatment plan.
SCNM will continue to provide quality natural pain relief to patients in need, and further educate the population on safe alternatives to opiates.
Dr. Paul Mittman